The Marine Corps issued a recent bulletin stipulating how transgenders are supposed to be managed, making it the last service to do so, following a repeal of the ban on transgenders serving openly.
The policy, just six pages and released Nov. 22, notes first and foremost that no qualified Marine can now be separated from the service based on gender identity. Further, in the administrative message adds that all transgender Marines will have to comply with the same uniform, grooming, height, weight and physical fitness standards of the new gender they’ve chosen.
If transgender Marines, for example, don’t meet the height and weight requirements of their new gender, they run the risk of being administratively separated from the service.
Otherwise, for any Marine who can’t keep up because of a medical condition or transgender-related treatment, that Marine “shall be treated, for purposes of separation or retention, in a manner consistent with a Marine whose ability to serve is similarly affected by medical condition(s) unrelated to gender identity or gender transition.”
In other words, transgendered Marines will be subject to the same medical and fitness reviews as other Marines.
Of course, as with other services, there are Exceptions to Policy (ETPs) requests that can be submitted when a Marine just can’t pass the standards associated with their new gender. The Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs will take the ETPs into consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Since the issue of transgenders is so sensitive, commanding officers may have to shell out funds to modify shower and restroom facilities to increase privacy.
Marines at entry-level training who suddenly want to switch genders could be separated if the medical treatment unduly impairs their ability to complete training.
As Marines are often deployed abroad in conditions with limited medical facilities, the document states that commanding officers can delay gender transition out in the field until that specific Marine is back at a permanent duty station.
From now until next year, a mobile training team will roll out education on the new transgender regulations for leadership. Commanders are responsible for taking that training to the unit level.
Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Garron Garn told Military.com that Commandant Gen. Robert Neller was personally looking at the matter closely.
“He and several key senior leaders are meeting in the coming weeks to talk about these scenarios with the intent of taking care of Marines,” Garn said. “I have not heard from anywhere that Marines are pushing back against this. The decision has been made and the Marines will execute.”
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ended the ban on transgenders serving openly on June 30.
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